Goals of AcademiaNet
Women are still seriously under-represented in leadership positions in academia. Only 26 % of professorships in Europe are held by women; in some countries, the share of women is even lower (SheFigures 2021). The figures are similarly low for key committees and commissions that decide on research awards, the appointment of professors and research funding. There is now a consensus in politics and science that the under-representation of women in academic leadership positions represents an untapped potential. However, there is a lack of tools to help decision-makers find proven female experts.
AcademiaNet is intended to be such an instrument. The database contains the profiles of women academics from all disciplines. Decision-makers can use the database to search for the best in their field. This makes it easier to fill scientific committees with female experts, to ask female speakers for a panel and to identify candidates for appointment procedures and awards. AcademiaNet is also a useful tool for journalists and conference organizers who are looking for proven female experts.
A European network
AcademiaNet is supported by a network of renowned research organisations from all over Europe. It was initiated by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, which created the database in 2010. In 2020, the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF took over the management of AcademiaNet. The publisher Spektrum der Wissenschaft operates the portal.
An international network of research organisations funds the project together with the SNSF and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Respected science partners vouch for the outstanding qualifications of the women academics and scientists in AcademiaNet.
The selection criteria
Excellent female researchers are nominated for AcademiaNet by 43 science partner organisations according to strict selection criteria. The selection criteria include outstanding scientific qualifications, outstanding academic references and independent leadership. It is not possible to apply directly to AcademiaNet.
AcademiaNet has grown considerably in recent years. The database contains profiles of more than 3,500 outstanding women researchers from Europe and beyond. Every female researcher nominated by a science partner must agree to become a member of AcademiaNet. On their profile page, female researchers can indicate the type of request they are particularly interested in.
AcademiaNet scientists have founded clubs at 20 locations to network with each other.